What is a Merlin Works Improv Class Like?

Most workshops start with some ice breaker or warm-up activities to get everyone acquainted, comfortable, focused and energized.

After warm-ups, the instructor will give you a brief introduction into the topic at hand and then explain the first exercise the group will be doing.

Then, the group performs the game or activity.

To become more spontaneous and creative, we might play a game where you have to say the first thing that comes to you without preparing. To help you be more easygoing, we might play a game with numbers where almost everyone messes up at some point. To help you work better with others, we might have you be on a team of people who try to answer questions together by each member only saying one word at a time.

Afterward each activity, the instructor leads the class in discussion of the experiences of the group–what worked, what didn’t and what we can learn from it.

These games and discussion all happen in a safe and relaxed environment where messing up is not only expected, but encouraged as a sign of risk taking.

Although you will be encouraged to stretch yourself, you will never be singled out or made to do anything you are strongly uncomfortable with. All participants are treated with dignity and respect, and yet allowed to act silly and uninhibited.

Make sure to wear comfortable clothes and bring a bottle of water, because if you haven’t guessed yet, we will be very active during the workshop.

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About Shana Merlin

Merlin Works is the brainchild of Shana Merlin: improviser, teacher, and performer. Since 1996, she’s been leading classes that stretch people’s imaginations, push them out of their comfort zones, and make them laugh out loud for hours at a time.

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